Despite significant volume declines, value sales in the UK fruit juice market were sustained to a degree by the rate of inflation and rises in off-trade value unit price in 2012.
Furthermore, a sharp rise in raw material and production costs meant that promotions played a fundamental role in supporting demand. As a result, volume sales declined faster than value sales, with off-trade volume sales reporting a 4% drop in 2012.
In 2012, a key shift in consumer interest was towards chilled products. Consumers increasingly looked to the fridge areas in supermarkets for fruit juice. As a result categories such as not from concentrate 100% juice and juice drinks (up to 24% juice) continued to hold the juice category as a whole.
Both these categories reported off-trade value growth close to 3% in 2012. As fruit/vegetable juice is considered to be a family purchase these chilled juice varieties are often shelved alongside cheese and yoghurt aisles giving them an advantage of visibility.
Exploiting this positioning these companies ran consistent promotions in terms of price discounts and also introduced a number of innovative products.
Not from concentrate 100% juice in particular saw stronger growth in 2012, due to consumer interest in smoothies. 2012 saw increased innovation in terms of "pure" juice and smoothies blends from companies such as Innocent Drinks Co Ltd, which provided a stimulus to consumer interest.
A new report titled 'Fruit/Vegetable Juice in the United Kingdom', published on companiesandmarkets.com, has stated that Tropicana UK Ltd remained the leading player in the fruit juice category, with an off-trade value share of 15% in 2012. The Tropicana brand benefits from its long-established presence in the UK and its popularity as a breakfast drink for families. The company has a strong advertising arm, pushing its products and campaigning throughout the UK.
Private label plays a major role in the fruit juice category in the UK. Tesco Plc, J Sainsbury Plc, Asda Group Ltd and other private label together held a combined off-trade value share of 36% in 2012. In the prevailing economic conditions and consumer price consciousness, private label brands represent an attractive choice in terms of price.
For more information on the UK fruit juice market, see the latest research: UK Fruit Juice Market
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